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Thursday, July 24, 2014
Learning about fitness and substance use in Rockville Centre
Donavan Berthoud/Herald
Meredith Nothel jumping rope with help from Liah Dewar and Dion Tulloch from iJump.

On Saturday, Oct. 20, the Rockville Centre Wellness Committee, with the RVC Drug, Alcohol and Violence Prevention Task Force, held its first annual Family Fun Fitness Day and Substance Use Awareness Walk at South Side High School.

According to Carol Roseto, director of physical education, interscholastic athletics and health for SSHS, the committee and task force decided to add the fitness day to the annual walk in order to provide students with a look at healthy lifestyles.

“Since I’ve been here, I’ve wanted to do a wellness fair and I thought it would be a good opportunity for the committees to merge,” Roseto explained. “We already have a decent amount of people who chose to participate in the walk, so I thought lets now merge activities.”

The idea behind the Substance Use Awareness Walk is to create an understanding of substance use and abuse in the community. The 1.3-mile walk from the high school, around Wilson elementary, and back served as a start to the day dedicated to physical and mental health.

Roseto said that about 200 people attended the event throughout the morning, and that during the event there were more than 50 vendors ranging from chiropractors, dentists, reflexology experts, as well as fitness games such as relay races, juggling, hula-hoop, lacrosse, soccer, basketball, Bootcamp, Zumba and bouncy castles.

“There will be education on how to stay healthy, through nutrition, dental hygiene, hydration, etc,” Roseto said. “There will also be athletes on the field to run all types of fitness activities. Increasing the joy of movement is the second half purpose of the day, after the Walk.”

Many of the high school athletes attending the fitness day gave up their practice times, Roseto said, because they and their coaches felt so strongly about the importance of teaching physical education and health techniques.

“We’re trying to create awareness on enjoyment of movement,” Roseto said. “Make the right choices of not choosing to do drugs or go the violent route. Do sports and get involved in the community instead.”

Roseto said that she felt the fitness day went very well for its first year, though she would have liked to see more elementary and middle school students and parents attend.

“I thought the high school athletes were phenomenal,” Roseto said. “I’d love to see this build into a huge thing each and every year.”

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